I was recently told about the SOFEA Community Larder based in Didcot which I had never heard of before. I’ve discovered its a great way to save money on your food bill as well as having an important community ethos so thought I’d share the details. One thing to point out – It isn’t a food bank!
What is a community larder?
The community larder membership offers you access to a range of household food items at a weekly hub, discounts with local companies, special member events, tasting sessions and recipes. Membership costs just £2.50 per week for individuals or £5 per week for a household/family. The idea behind the scheme is to make access to nutritional foods affordable for everyone, as well as reducing food waste. There is no means testing involved. The community larder is open to absolutely anyone who wants to join, as long as you live within a 15 minute radius of Didcot.
How does the weekly community food larder work?
The food larder is based at the Marlborough Club in Didcot and is open every Monday 3:30-5pm. Members can choose 10 (individual) or 20 (family) items from those available, plus additional free items of fruit and veg. The produce changes weekly so there’s always something new to try. There are usually a selection of tinned items, dried pasta, bread, eggs, biscuits, non-alcoholic drinks, etc.
If you can’t make it to the larder on Mondays you can get a pre-made box of goods instead. These can be collected from the HQ at Trident Park. These contain the same items as those that will be available at the hub. Staff will chose what to put in it and have it ready for you. It’s basically like a lucky dip surprise box full of food!
What else can I get involved with?
The Communi-T Larder Cafe launches this week at the hub. This is a great chance to get to know other members of the community over a cup of tea or coffee. This is run by volunteers so if you want to get involved in volunteering just let them know. This would look great on your CV or perhaps if you are doing the Duke of Edinburgh award.
Are there any other benefits?
There are also special events for members to enjoy. For example at Christmas there was a big Christmas party with food, disco and a gift each for the kids. This is all included in the membership.
A number of local companies also offer discounts to Community Larder members. Some of these include: 20% off at the hand car wash at the Marlborough Club Mon-Thurs, 20% off at the Turkish barbers Mon-Thurs, 10% discount at Cornerstone’s Nourish cafe, plus more.
There are often taste sessions at the hub using ingredients from the community larder. Members are also encouraged to share recipes they have used. You can share recipe ideas on the exclusive members only Facebook page as well.
If you would like to know more about joining the SOFEA Community Larder please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.SOFEA.uk.com